GREENVILLE — South Carolina food manufacturers can receive needed federal certifications by completing the Better Process Control School offered by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service this month.

The course  teaches canning and thermal processing methods to people who plan to produce and sell foods that would normally require temperature control, said Adair Hoover, Extension food safety agent.

The class is limited to 25 participants and registration is available online here on a first-come-first-served basis. The course runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 to 23 at the Greenville County Extension office, 301 University Ridge, Suite 4300, Greenville.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that manufacturers of acidified and low-acid foods – foods that normally would be refrigerated but are processed in a manner that allows them to be stored at room temperature – operate with a certified supervisor on hand at all times during production. The class also meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspections regulations for shelf stable, thermally processed meat and poultry products.

Clemson Extension offers the school in two tracts. Manufactures of acidified foods can take an abbreviated curriculum Tuesday and Wednesday for $500. Manufacturers of low-acid canned foods attend class Tuesday through Friday at a cost of $950.

Instructors include Scott Whiteside, professor in the Clemson University food, nutrition and packaging sciences department; Ron Thomas, professor emeritus in the department; and Derek Underwood, assistant commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Topics covered include microbiology of thermally processed food, principles of thermal processing, record keeping for product protection, food plant sanitation, food container handling, process room instrumentation and equipment and much more.

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